IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Relatives of Daniela Santiago Díaz and Nicolás Aristizábal Gómez in Colombia

December 5, 2023

Related links

Contact info

IACHR Press Office

[email protected]

Distribution List

Subscribe to our distribution list

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 73/2023 on December 4, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of relatives of Daniela Santiago Díaz and Nicolás Aristizábal Gómez in Colombia, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.

The party who requested these precautionary measures alleged that Daniela Santiago Díaz and Nicolás Aristizábal Gómez went missing on June 3, 2023. The families of the two young adults reported their disappearance and have since led marches and other protests. As they protested, they became the targets of death threats and extorsion attempts. On August 13, 2023, relatives of the two missing persons were tipped off about a body that had been found floating in a lagoon. The authorities retrieved human remains. Eventually, the forensic report said that Daniela had been beaten to death, while Nicolás had been stabbed to death.

Although relatives of the two victims have filed the relevant complaints and requests, no risk assessments have allegedly been conducted so far concerning them. Daniela's family has allegedly been forced to leave the area, after being threatened by a criminal organization who declared them a military target. According to the allegations, the public prosecutor's office is yet to notify the families of the results of the investigation into the threats and extorsion attempts they have received.

The State said that the Valle del Cauca public prosecutor's office was conducting an investigation into these forced disappearances. The Unified Action Group for Personal Freedom (GAULA) also allegedly contacted the mothers of Daniela and Nicolás to let them know the measures that had been adopted to prevent kidnappings and extorsion, as well as to provide both families with support and advise. Further, the Colombian Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine reported the identification of the victims. The State noted the protection measures that had been implemented by the National Police. Finally, the State said that the National Protection Unit (UNP) had not received any requests for protection from the proposed beneficiaries.

After assessing the information that had been provided by both parties, the Commission considered that—given the threats received by the beneficiaries, the lack of information about any progress made in the relevant investigations, and the need to reinforce protection measures, and despite the measures taken by the State—the risks faced by relatives of Daniela and Nicolás had not been mitigated.

Therefore, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the State of Colombia to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of identified relatives of Daniela Santiago Díaz and Nicolás Aristizábal Gómez
  2. Come to an agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken
  3. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State of Colombia do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 279/23

11:15 AM